Hiking and camping in Ordesa Valley, Spain
Northern Spain is a paradise for hikers and nature-lovers. Pyrenees mountain range runs along the border with France, from Bay of Biscay in Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. The mountain range is 430 kilometers long, and consists of flat-topped mountains and folded linear mountain peaks. The highest peak of the Pyrenees is Aneto Peak, at 3,404 meters above sea level in Maladeta Massif, Central Pyrenees. There are several national parks in the mountain range area, with amazing scenery and great possibilities for hiking. In this post we introduce beautiful Ordesa Valley in Aragon, Central Pyrenees, and the lovely San Anton camping area right next to Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park. We explored this beautiful corner of Spain in June 2019.
Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park
The highlights of the park are, as its name implies, Mount Perdido mountain and Ordesa Valley. Mount Perdido mountain range towers above the Ordesa Valley, and the highest peak of it, Mount Perdido, reaches 3 355 meters (11,000 feet). The peak is actually located on the French side of the border, but the main access is along the hiking trails from Spanish side. Ordesa Valley runs trough the national park from west to east, and the turquoise river traversing on the bottom of the valley is called Rio Arazas. Whereas the peak of Mount Perdido requires a long hike, the river valley is super easy to access – right from the parking area of the national park, or by walking from Torla village below the park. The views towards the mountains from the valley are stunning, and easy trails following the river take day trekkers to beautiful waterfalls.
We visited the park as part of our European road trip by our own car, but it’s also reachable by public transport, at least during the summer season. The park entrance is situated near the small but charming Torla village, 12 km north from the city of Huesca. The closest railway station is in Sabiñanigo, and there are connecting buses to Ordesa. From Torla village, there is a shuttle bus running the last 8 kilometers up to the park visitor center, but you can also walk there along the scenic trails by the river (7 km). Read more about the national park in their website ordesa.net.
Hiking in Ordesa
Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park offers wonderful possibilities for hiking, trekking and trail running. There are several marked trails both in the valley and higher up in the mountains, many of them circular, so you don’t have to come back the same route. The scenic rails following Rio Arazas are suitable for short and easy day hikes, accessible straight from the national park visitor center. There are also challenging mountain trails for long day hikes, and even for multi-day adventures up in the mountain range. There are some simple mountain shelters for staying overnight along your hike, for example for those who decide to conquer the peak of Mount Perdido.
We unfortunately didn’t have chance to make longer hikes, as the weather turned rainy and chilly the next day after we arrived in Torla. However, we had time to make a long and sunny trail run in the valley, and got to enjoy the amazing mountain scenery from below the massive rocky wall that looms above Ordesa Valley. In addition to hiking and running, there are possibilities for other sporty adventures in Ordesa, like climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, canyoning and horseback riding.
Camping-Bungalows San Anton
The small and peaceful camping site of San Anton is wonderfully located right next to the national park and the trails up to the mountains. The site is scenic as itself, but the best part is the view towards the mountains, it’s simply stunning. The visitors can either book one of the wooden bungalows, or set up a camp on one of the terraced camping plots. There is a restaurant-cafe in the site, with a panoramic terrace of course, as well as free wifi. We stayed three nights in San Anton, and could have stayed a lot longer, as this place was one of the best campsites we stayed in during the whole two months road trip in Spain and France.